A European country that may not be real is angling for good relations with Donald Trump

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The self-proclaimed president of the “Free Republic of Liberland,” Vit Jedlicka, center, poses with the Liberland flag and future citizens in the village of Backi Monostor, Serbia, May 1, 2015.
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REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

“There are many ties and shared ideas between Liberland and President Trump,” the self-proclaimed president of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka, told The Washington Post this weekend.

Jedlicka declared sovereignty over a 3-square-mile spit of land on the Danube River in April 2015, taking advantage of a decades-long dispute between Croatia and Serbia over their border.

Jedlicka, a Czech citizen with libertarian leanings and a Euroskeptic, found out about the territory while reading about “terra nullius” – “nobody’s land” in Latin – on Wikipedia.

While Jedlicka is optimistic about relations between his country and the Trump administration, the nascent relationship faces a peculiar and significant hurdle: Neither the US nor any other country recognizes Liberland’s existence.

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Liberland disputed territory seen from across the Danube river, near Backi Monostor, Serbia, May 1, 2015.
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AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Jedlicka has links with anti-establishment political movements elsewhere in Europe, and he recently appointed Thomas Walls, a US citizen, as Liberland’s foreign minister.

Jedlicka told Business Insider in April 2015 that he was against most forms of government assistance and that taxes in his country would be voluntary.

“We don’t really care that much, because the government will have very little expenditure,” he said at the time. “We will have so much money that we will not know how to spend it.”

Jedlicka also told The Post plans to attend Trump’s inauguration in January were in the works, but he wouldn’t say precisely who his connection to the US president-elect was.

“We can say we have a strong supporter of Liberland who is a close adviser to one of Trump’s already announced cabinet picks and somewhat famous in his own right,” Walls told The Post. “Another member of the Liberland team has just published one of Trump’s books in Europe.”


According to the founders of Liberland, the plot of land they chose remained unclaimed by Croatia, Serbia, or any other country when the border was drawn, and the nearest settlements are Zmajevac in Croatia and Backi Monostor in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia.

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A man shows the Liberland flag in the village of Backi Monostor, Serbia, May 1, 2015. Its size of about 3 square miles would make “Liberland” the third-smallest sovereign state in Europe, after Vatican City and Monaco.
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REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Croatia has dismissed it as a joke, and Serbia has detained Jedlicka and others while trying to enter the territory. According to The Post, only people with a “communist, Nazi or extremist past” are barred from citizenship, and hundreds of thousands — including about 12,000 Americans — have signed up.

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The self-proclaimed president of the “Free Republic of Liberland,” Vit Jedlicka, center, poses with the Liberland flag and future citizens in the village of Backi Monostor, Serbia, May 1, 2015.
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REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Source: The Washington Post


Jedlicka ran for office several times in the Czech Republic. He won a minor regional seat but grew frustrated when he realized he would be unable to make any meaningful changes.

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The self-proclaimed president of the “Free Republic of Liberland,” Vit Jedlicka, seated at center, gives out free citizenship in the village Backi Monostor, Serbia, May 1, 2015.
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REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Source: Business Insider


Jedlicka said he was motivated to start Liberland after people asked why he didn’t start his own country modeled after Hong Kong.

Source: Business Insider


Croats and Serbs weren’t amused by the Liberland concept. The so-called Free Republic of Liberland, a swampy patch of isolated land on the banks of the Danube river border between Serbia and Croatia — which fought a war in the 1990s — was blocked by police in both states.


Croatian border police have also arrested people trying to enter Liberland, leading to clashes in summer 2015.

Source: Business Insider


Jedlicka was selected as president by a three-person committee, and he has said he started Liberland to “turn the concept of a state upside down.”

Source: Business Insider


Despite setbacks with neighboring countries, developments in the US have given him hope.


He told The Post he welcomed reports that Trump would make his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, who was born in the Czech Republic, that country’s US ambassador. Jedlicka also said he was planning to travel to the US soon to improve US-Liberland ties.

Source: The Washington Post